Three members of Sudan transitional military council resign as negotiations restart

Three members of Sudan transitional military council resign as negotiations restart
Three members of Sudan's governing transitional military council resigned on Wednesday night as the council began renewed negotiations with leading protest organisers.
2 min read
25 April, 2019
The military council also met with protest organisers on Wednesday night [AFP]
Three members of Sudan's governing transitional military council have resigned, the council's spokesperson announced on Wednesday night. He added that the resignations had not yet been accepted.

Lieutenant General Omar Zein al-Abideen, head of the transitional military council's political committee, was among those who resigned on Wednesday.

Protest organisers had previously called for the three members' resignation and arrest, citing their previous association with recently-deposed leader Omar al-Bashir.

The council's spokesman Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi made the announcement shortly after the team representing protesters' demands agreed to renew negotiations with the transitional military council.

Talks between the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC), an umbrella group which took on the negotiating role following the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir, and the transitional military council had previously stalled last week as tensions rose.

"We have an agreement on most demands presented in the document of the Alliance for Freedom and Change", told reporters, according to state media.

Among the AFC's demands are an immediate handover of power to a civilian-led body, the complete restructuring of the security forces and the eradication of laws which curtail freedoms.

Ahmed al-Rabia, one of the AFC negotiators who attended Wednesday night's meeting, told reporters the two sides had agreed to form a joint committee, without specifying the composition or aims of the body.

Minutes later, Lieutenant General Kabashi announced the resignation of Lieutenant General Omar Zein al-Abideen, Lietenant General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh and Lieutenant General Al-Tayyib Babaker, according to state news agency SUNA.

Kabashi said their resignations had yet to be accepted by the council, however.

Babaker is the director of Sudan's police forces. Sheikh was also a member of the council's political committee.

Kabashi did not elaborate on the reasons behind the resignations.

Sati al-Haj, a member of the AFC's negotiating committee told Al-Jazeera that the "exclusion" of Babaker, Abideen and Sheikh from negotiations had been previously stipulated by the AFC.

The three are widely considered to be loyalists to Bashir.

Protesters have been consistent in their demand that the military should ensure an end to Bashir's regime and that former members should not be included in the country's political future.

Leading protest organisers the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), one of the main members of the AFC, have called on protesters to stay put at a mass sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum.

The group has also urged protesters to attend a "million-strong march" on Thursday.

The AFC is expected to announce the members of its own civilian transitional council during protests on Thursday.